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The Amazon Alexa Moto Mod attaches Alexa to the back of your phone so she is always with you

Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Moto Mod. (Source: Motorola)
Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Moto Mod. (Source: Motorola)
Motorola and Lenovo have announced the new 'Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa' Moto Mod, which adds additional microphones, speakers, and a battery in addition to having Alexa always listening.

The Moto Mods made by Lenovo and Motorola generally fall into either the standard category (e.g., speaker or battery) or the unusual (e.g., mini projector). Today Motorola announced that pre-orders were about to start for one of the more unusual mods, an Amazon Alexa smart speaker.

While you can get Alexa on most Android phones simply by installing the app, this mod is advertised as “The best of Alexa, right on your phone,” and it does bring a few additional features to back up this claim. The first are the two 27 mm 8-watt speakers, which will produce significantly louder sound than an internal phone speaker. For picking up voice commands, there are four far-field microphones similar to those found in smart home devices which need to understand your clearly from across the room. There is an internal 1530 mAh battery to keep Alexa powered without continually draining your phone’s battery, although Motorola doesn’t specify whether it would start to draw power from the phone if its battery was depleted. Finally, it will also act as a portable speaker for music or speakerphone during calls.

The idea is that users have the functionality of their in-home Alexa unit with them at all times, without the need to pick up their phone and activate an app. The speaker ratings (8-watt vs. 6-watt) and the battery (1530 mAh vs. 1000 mAh) compare favorably to the JBL speaker mod, but there is additional thickness (23 mm vs. 15 mm) and a higher price (US$150 vs. US$80). These all combine to mean that you would need to be pretty invested in having Alexa with you at all times to buy the Alexa mod rather than just using the cheaper JBL mod — or a Bluetooth speaker — and the Alexa Android app.

The Smart Speaker with Alexa Moto Mod starts pre-orders on Tuesday at a price of US$150, with shipping expected on 13 November. These mods are compatible with the Moto Z / Moto Z Play and Moto Z2 product lines, and it is encouraging to see that there are new mods being released.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 11 > The Amazon Alexa Moto Mod attaches Alexa to the back of your phone so she is always with you
Craig Ward, 2017-11- 6 (Update: 2017-11- 7)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.